Right On: Wedding cakes between a rock and a hard place

Pit image by rudall30, wedding cake image by studiogstock, both iStock / Getty Images Plus; composite by St. George News

OPINION — What to do when Constitutional rights collide?

A Colorado wedding cake baker in 2012 refused to supply a wedding cake to a same-sex couple planning their wedding.

The baker, Jack Phillips, said he often serves members of the LGBT community with off-the-shelf products but when acting as an artist providing specialized services, being required to provide cakes for LGBT weddings violates his First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

The couple claims that he is discriminating in violation of their Constitutional rights stemming from the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision. They claim that the baker offers wedding cakes to the public but unconstitutionally refuses to serve them. The high court has agreed to review the baker’s case and the decision of the justices is pending.

Read more: LDS Church, state GOP senators support Colorado baker’s choice not to serve same-sex couple

So whose rights should prevail?

Free exercise of religion has been enshrined in the First Amendment since 1791. A Constitutional right to same-sex marriage was discovered in 2015.

I use the word “discovered” advisedly. Some would say instead that a right to same-sex marriage was invented by the court in response to changing social norms and the personal preferences of five justices.

No reference to marriage of any kind can be found in the Constitution. Instead the court’s decision flowed from the Constitution’s due process and equal protection clauses.

Nonetheless, same-sex marriage is now a Constitutional standard against which today’s wedding cakes must be measured.

Does this mean that once the court discovers a new right, that right is absolute and not subject to reasonable limitations or judicial interpretation?

No. For example, in 1983 the court found a woman’s right to an abortion to be constitutionally protected. However, in subsequent years, it has sanctioned a variety of limitations on that right.

Likewise the court has danced between the free exercise of religion and competing government rights. See an interesting list of such cases here. Add to that list the religious exemptions to Obamacare contraceptive mandates given to Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor.

During last week’s wedding cake oral arguments, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy – often the court’s swing vote – asked questions that gave both parties alternately hope and concern. A 5-4 decision in June is likely with Kennedy making the call.

Not wanting to wait until June, I’ll ask my own questions.

Should a Jewish delicatessen be required to cater a neo-Nazi meeting?

Should a Hindu band be required to entertain at a cattlemen’s barbecue?

Should the country offer citizenship to a Moslem refugee with more than one wife?

Should any restaurant be required to cater a pornographic video convention?

Is there any Constitutional justification for banning polygamy or polyandry between consenting adults 18 and older?

Today, the left sees any Christian religious freedom claim as merely an excuse for Christian bigotry. Illustrative of this view, a Colorado Civil Rights commissioner said it’s “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric” when people use their religion to hurt others.

Colorado’s solicitor general only reluctantly disavowed this quote when questioned by justices during wedding cake oral arguments.

The left raises the specter of a wave of lawsuits intended to impose Christian values on the country. The facts tell a very different story.

Luke Goodrich and Rachel Busick report that only 0.5 percent of court cases over the last five years pertain to religious freedom. Of these, those filed by Hindus, Moslems and Native Americans far exceeded their proportion of the population.

The most underrepresented group? Christians.

Goodrich and Busick report that in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, only four religious freedom victories were won in the last five years. The four: Muslims challenging an anti-Sharia law, Native Americans challenging a ban on killing eagles, reality TV stars challenging a ban on polygamy and atheists challenging a Ten Commandments monument.

Dissenting from the original same-sex marriage decision, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well.”

Marriage between a man and a woman has been a religious institution for millennia. Ever-changing social norms have not changed that standard for a large segment of our society.

Consider that doctors and hospitals may choose not to perform abortions as a matter of conscience, the Supreme Court ruling notwithstanding. Abortion is still readily available to those who want it.

Why shouldn’t individuals and businesses be able to choose not to serve same-sex marriages as a matter of conscience? Wedding cakes are readily available as well.

I’m counting on Associate Justice Kennedy to show the baker the same deference and nuance that the court has shown doctors, hospitals and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Howard Sierer is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: hsierer@stgeorgeutah.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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66 Comments

  • mmsandie December 14, 2017 at 8:28 am

    What a great article, the baker has rights too. Let the LGBT go to another bakery..this is wasting the time in courts.. when you watch any tv show.. everyone has. Gays, lesbians, cross dressers, transgenders..on tv what is the world comingtoo. I don,t have a problem with this people but where were they 50 yrs ago.. I moved away fr9m one towns as m6 husband and I couldn,t eat anywhere without women, feeding women group8ng each other under the table… keep it at home ..let other people enjoy life

    • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 10:44 am

      By legal standing right now the baker has violated Colorado State civil rights law. This isn’t a wasteful case; this is the reason we have the Supreme Court.

      Where were they 50 years ago? Many were hiding from persecution to protect themselves from very real physical danger. But LGBTQi+ individuals have always existed openly in society.

      You are asking non-heteronormative individuals to repress themselves because of your personal discomfort? You do realize straight couples have always publicly displayed the behavior you are literally running from, correct? Your discomfort is about you, not them.

      • Utahguns December 14, 2017 at 12:45 pm

        How did I know you were going to take the side of homosexuals/queers?
        You’re obviously discomforted by the fact that the majority of people abhor this behavior.
        Deal with it.

        • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 12:51 pm

          You are allowed to abhor it all you want. What you can’t do is expect to turn such prejudicial treatment into law. Our Constitution protects us from the “tyranny of the majority” when it comes to the preservation of individual liberty. Its why we have civil liberty laws.

          The SCOTUS case will be telling but either way it goes we have a long road ahead of us to protect the dignity of individuals who others like you happen to “abhor”.

  • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the case centered on the legality of state civil rights law in Colorado, not the former SCOTUS ruling. The couple’s legal married status isn’t being question. The question is wether the state can sanction a private business for violating state code that lists same sex couples as a protected class. That is a huge difference and completely undermines the argument listed above.

    And if we are going to challenge civil rights protections than the penultimate comparison is wether or not the state can forbid the practice of segregated businesses. Our country has answered such questions already.

  • Chuck December 14, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Jack Phillips once wrote, “I won’t design a cake that promotes something that conflicts with the Bible’s teachings. And that rule applies to far more than cakes celebrating same-sex marriages.”

    I’m not sure I understand exactly WHAT about the cake Mr. Phillips objects to. Is it just placing topper on the cake depicting two grooms, or is it just creating a cake specifically for a Gay couple?

    Imagine this scenario: A Straight (i.e. heterosexual) couple comes in wanting a unique cake for their wedding. They want four tiers, all enrobed with peach-colored fondant, with white piping and pink roses. “No problem,” says Jack Phillips.

    So imagine a Gay couple coming in and requesting exactly the same cake. No “two groom” toppers, no rainbows, nothing that screams “GAY.” Will Jack Phillips decline this order simply because the couple in question is Gay? THAT’S what I’d like to know … because if Mr Phillips would turn away a Gay couple for a cake he would ordinarily be happy to create for a Straight couple, that is flagrantly in violation of anti-discrimination laws.

    But if the Supreme Court rules in his favor, I guess any business owner can turn away ANYONE for ANY reason, and use “religious freedom” as justification. For example, there is a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment in this country just now; maybe Christian-owned businesses will be able to turn away Muslim customers and job-applicants as well.

  • DRT December 14, 2017 at 10:06 am

    The sad fact is that common decency is no longer common. Common sense is no longer common. The old devil is out and about, and laughing his ass off.

    • Utahguns December 14, 2017 at 11:23 am

      …and it’s just going to get worse, DRT.
      Several of the “tips of the spear” for the gay rights movement started in California and New York.
      Back in the late 60’s and early to mid 70’s, I was a rock concert fan, taking in venues at Fillmore West, Winterland and the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco.
      Two of these locations were smack-dab in the center of the Tenderloin district, a district in most cases that was filthy and disgusting where crime and prostitution were rampant.
      You couldn’t walk down the street without being approached by some pim-p, hooker or homosexual wanting you.
      Well today, prostitution (except in a couple of areas) is still illegal.
      However, I exercise my right to believe that today, being homosexual is still immoral.
      That’s my opinion. You don’t like it?
      Tough.
      BTW, nice article Howard.

  • theone December 14, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Christianity is not a protected class, your right to practice the christian fairy tale is protected. What you don’t get to do is impose your fairy tale belief on others no matter what class.
    I’m really kind of tired of you religious folk acting as though you’re being persecuted for being christian, take your fairy tale home and leave it there.
    Thank goodness logic and rationale is taking hold across the world and making your fairy tale obsolete. Grow up already!!

    • Utahguns December 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Neither is stupidity…You’re lucky.

      • theone December 14, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        Bigotry is a plague and you wear it well.

        • Utahguns December 14, 2017 at 1:59 pm

          I’m also a “deplorable” and I’m proud to wear that well.

          • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 4:14 pm

            Like the “deplorable” Clinton so poorly named, ie anyone right of her politics, or the intent of the name, ie the NickDanger sort of ethno-nationalist?

    • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      More often than not I disagree with the tone and scale of your comments but I do seem to agree that folks are confusing their protected right to personally practice their religion with the ability to maintain dominance. They aren’t the same.

      • theone December 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

        There was a time I approached on a much more civil discourse, but these christians having crossed too many lines and I’m fed up with them and their fairy tale.

        • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 4:02 pm

          Totally understand discontent with public statements by Christians. So much old testament wrath and so little emulation of Jesus’s compassion and empathy; I’m not Christian but was raised one and saw a religion vastly different the politics of evangelicals now. Never could figure out how the christian right reckons with the Bible’s emphasis on free will compared to their desire to force everyone to live by Christian dogma. Seems ironic at best.

          • Sedona December 15, 2017 at 1:23 pm

            I think this b&f individual is Elizabeth Warren.

    • ladybugavenger December 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Oh but the lgbt community can force their fairytale belief on others that don’t share the same belief. Hypocrisy at its worst.

      Godless people you are..

      Choose Jesus

      • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 5:38 pm

        And how are they forcing anything on you personally? Requiring the government to treat their lives with the same dignity and freedoms as heterosexual Americans doesn’t force anything on you. Requiring businesses, not people, respect the same civil liberties granted to others isn’t forcing anything on you individually. You still get to practice your religion individually. The church still gets to decide how it talks and behaves within its walls.

        Its an ironic idea.

        • ladybugavenger December 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

          I praise Jesus at work all the time, and not one person like you can stop me! 😁 praise the Lord! Jesus Jesus Jesus

          Jesus is not in a building. Jesus Jesus Jesus.. choose Jesus. And choosing Jesus comes with conflict, it comes with division, it comes with being hated on, it comes with a fight….

          You can be lgbtqrst b&f but do you have Jesus?

          If you don’t have Jesus, then your master is Satan, the father of lies.

          You’ve read the bible, and one day you’ll believe it.

          • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 7:14 pm

            You clearly don’t understand the issue or the laws surrounding it. Civil rights laws are about businesses, not your propensity to yell “Jesus” in a crowded room. Its an important difference and one that should be key to understanding before jumping into the conversation.

          • PatriotLiberal December 14, 2017 at 10:35 pm

            Ladybug
            You shout Jesus’ name in 99% of your posts and claim to be “Christian”. In 99% of your posts you praise Jesus then call people who disagree with you horrible names and/or tell them they are going to hell because, according to you, they’re “Godless people”. I was taught that Jesus LOVED EVERYONE! That he died for us. John 2:2 states:
            And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
            Speaking of what you say to people though, what or who in the Bible gives you the authority, as a Christian, to tell people they are going to hell? Seriously, I want to know. Cite the Bible verse in your response.
            .

          • ladybugavenger December 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm

            I’m not saying they are going to hell….God says that. I’m just saying God’s word. So it’s actually God’s word and by God’s aufhority.

            Since y’all quote scripture then y’all already knoauthority. 😁

          • ladybugavenger December 17, 2017 at 11:53 am

            Jesus loves everyone and died for everyone. But not everyone loves Jesus. Many deny Jesus and condemn people that love him…you like to quote scripture, so go ahead and find where it states what happens to those that don’t accept Jesus. Jesus suffering for our sins, there’s no greater love than that. But, not everyone accepts it. Is it pride? Is it because of self righteousness? I suppose many reasons.

            I say Jesus alot because because I loves y’all and I don’t want you to perish. Not for the reasons I’m accused of. Y’all that quote scripture should already know this. You seem to use the Bible as a weapon against believers..hmmmm I’m sure you can find a scripture about that.

            There is hope.

            Paul killed christians then he turned to do God’s will and brought salvation to many. He went from being the persecutor to being the persecuted for his faith.

            He killed christians then got killed for being a Christian. But he did not perish and has everlasting life.

            We shall not perish either, for those that turn to God and accept Jesus.

            Everything we see is going to perish, it’s meaningless compared to the kingdom.

            I’m ready for God to take me at any moment, whether it be a car accident, cancer, getting shot, whatever and however it is, I’m ready. Are you?

          • ladybugavenger December 17, 2017 at 12:07 pm

            I went from denying God, hating God, making fun of people who believed in God. I went from being confused about there being so many different religions, if there is only one God. I went from testing this God-to having alot of trauma-to calling out to God- to now, standing on God’s word…..

            Not because I’m delusional, but because I’ve seen the power of the devil and the power of God.

            And I tell all of those reading this that believe they have no hope, the people that believe there is no way out of the pain, I say to you- there is hope, there is a way out of the pain, there is a way out of anxiety, hopelessness, despair, and it’s not by a drug or prescription, or alcohol, it’s by the power of Jesus. There is an unexplainable peace after a tragedy. Pain hurts. You gotta feel to heal.

            God bless y’all

      • ladybugavenger December 14, 2017 at 6:09 pm

        Taking them to court for refusing to bake cake for a gay wedding when the people are clearly against gay marriage.

        God is not a religion. Jesus is not a religion

        You better changes your ways b&f you are on the path of destruction.

        • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 7:11 pm

          The baker broke the civil rights laws of Colorado, hence the lawsuit. They won because it was an obvious infringement. Businesses are treated differently than people when it comes to laws. We regulate business more than people. After centuries of oppression our country chose to protect certain classes from discrimination by businesses, from race, to religion to sex and gender. In Colorado, the same law that prohibits discrimination solely based on a customer being Christian protects customers against discrimination based on sexuality and gender.

          • ladybugavenger December 16, 2017 at 8:50 am

            They can come to my house. I’ll bake them a delicious cake. I’m not much of an artist but it will be yummy. I can Google wedding cakes and try to duplicate what they want.

            As for the bakers beliefs, you can’t blame him for his deep convictions.

            You can’t hate him for denying a cake. Well, y’all can and do, but its not right.

            As for the law, the law doesn’t make something right or wrong. Laws change all the time depending on who is voting for it.

            Y’all want some cookies? i’ll bake you some cookies.

            Y’all call me Christian, but i cant remember once saying I am. But it’s nice to know that you all label me as such. It just goes to show that you don’t have too say what you are cuz people will see it. I don’t call myself a Christian because I’m not Christ like, I never will be. I’m a sinner saved by Grace.

            Y’all have a Merry Christmas!

            I’m not feeling much of the Christmas spirit, the thieves are in full force where I work and I’ve been looking at Christmas decorations since before halloween, and my kids and grandkids are in Vegas, Utah, and colorado. So its just another day that I happen to get off and get paid for.

            Happy New Year!

          • ladybugavenger December 16, 2017 at 9:37 am

            One more thing, on that cake I will not put a groom and groom or a wife and wife. They can do that themselves.

          • ladybugavenger December 16, 2017 at 11:59 am

            To be fair and non discriminatory. I won’t put a husband and wife on the cake either. They can do that themselves.

            Marriage is over rated and often done prematurely. It takes alot of hard work to stay together and love aint enough to keep a marriage together. Love turns to hate. Hate turns to love…Love and hate, its remarkable how often those two threads councide.

  • Utahguns December 14, 2017 at 11:00 am

    My family owned a restaurant for many years, long before the issue of gay (I’m still preturbed that they hijacked that word…) rights collided with society.
    We had a sign at the entrance that said, “No shoes, no shirt, no service” and another sign in the lobby that said, “We have the right to refuse service to anyone”.
    Now, it was (and still is) people’s right to go without a shirt, or shoes, but, we discriminated against this practice.
    NOBODY took us to court or made an issue about it.
    I feel these bakers have the same rights as we had, and, as a business individual myself, I side with them.
    “…but your sign depicted a statement reflecting what local health laws required”……OK, but, restaurant owners had the options of posting this sign or not, and, we still had (and businesses should have) “the right to refuse service to anyone”.

    Period.

    • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      I am not sure you have had the right to refuse service to anyone, ie civil rights law. When you choose to deny service based upon protected classes in that state you are violating the law, hence the case against the baker that has currently sided in favor of the prosecution. We’ve been fighting this fight for ages but civil rights laws continue to gain strength. Practice bigotry in your home all you want but don’t expect a licensed business to get away with whatever you want.

      Signs are cheap and don’t reflect the law in your situation. Case history and civil liberties do.

      • Utahguns December 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm

        You’re an example of why this country is going in the crapper.

        • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 1:32 pm

          Thanks for the compliment. I am glad to part of changing an old system that allowed folks like to you to systematically oppress folks you happen to “abhor”. I can’t imagine a better compliment.

          Though, I differ on our direction. I think our country is getting better, not worse.

          • Utahguns December 14, 2017 at 2:08 pm

            LMAO….

          • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 4:15 pm

            Good to know you have no meaningful thoughts to add.

        • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 1:34 pm

          I find folks who resort to such emotional outbursts are freely admitting they have no logical or ethical ground to stand on in their worldview. And I will continue to erode away at the weak foundation anytime someone brings such prejudicial ideas onto public forums.

        • theone December 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm

          Actually, you’re the reason we are moving this country out of the crapper. Your narrowminded view is being challenged Nationwide Utahguns.
          Be ready for change and a better life.

          • Utahguns December 14, 2017 at 2:28 pm

            😉

      • John December 14, 2017 at 9:00 pm

        bikeandfish, the baker has the right to not make any cake he chooses not to make, just like you have the right to be a leftist snowflake blowhard on the wrong side of every issue.. you have a nearly perfect record.. if bikeandfish disagrees with you it means you are on the right side..

        • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 9:24 pm

          You understand law about as well as you utilize sophisticated humor. Right now the baker stands in violation of Colorado law which limits a businesses ability to discriminate against protected classes. SCOTUS may rule against the state but as of now the baker clearly acted outside of his rights.

          • John December 14, 2017 at 9:46 pm

            the desired cake was was not on the menu, what part of that do you not understand?..the baker did not violate anybody’s civil rights. why don’t you go try to order falafel at burger king and then you could sue them because they don’t have it.. jeesh! you libtard snowflakes are intrusive, immature and fragil How do you fit all that stupid into one head…MYOB and people will stop calling you a blowhard know nothing busybody..you need a gay cake put your own damn topper on it..nobody gives a poop ..quit wasting the court’s time with this frivolous crap. Like I said. you will know you are on the right side of an issue if bikeandfish is on the other..hahahahaha..,

          • Sedona December 14, 2017 at 10:16 pm

            An article from the New York Post:

            “I do not understand how living in a country with its democracy established over 200 years ago, and now, for the
            first time in history, suddenly we have Obama setting up a group called “Organizing for Action” (OFA).

            OFA is 30,000+ strong and working to disrupt everything that our current president’s administration is trying to do. This organization goes against our Democracy, and it is an operation that will destroy our way of governing.
            It goes against our Constitution, our laws, and the processes established over 200 years ago. If it is allowed to proceed then we will be living in chaos very much like third world countries are run. What good is it to have an established government if it is not going to be respected and allowed to follow our laws?

            If you had an army some 30,000 strong and a court system stacked over the decades with judges who would allow
            you to break the laws, how much damage could you do to a country? We are about to find out in America!

            Obama said he was going to stay involved through community organizing and speak out on the issues
            and that appears to be one post-administration promise he intends to keep. He has moved many of his
            administration’s top dogs over to Organizing for Action.

            OFA is behind the strategic and tactical implementation of the resistance to the Trump Administration that we are seeing across America, and politically active courts are providing the leverage for this revolution.

            OFA is dedicated to organizing communities for “progressive” change.
            Its issues are gun control, socialist healthcare, abortion, sexual equality, climate change, and of course, immigration reform.

            OFA members were propped up by the ex-president’s message from the shadows: “Organizing is the building block of everything great we have accomplished Organizers around the country are fighting for change in their communities and OFA is one of the groups on the front lines. Commit to this work in 2017 and beyond.”

            OFA’s website says it obtained its “digital” assets from the ex-president’s re-election effort and that he inspired
            the movement. In short, it is the shadow government organization aimed at resisting and tearing down the Constitutional Republic we know as AMERICA.

            Paul Sperry, writing for the New York Post, says, “The OFA will fight President Donald Trump at every turn of his presidency and the ex-president will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.”

            Sperry writes that, “The ex-president is setting up a shadow government to sabotage the Trump administration through a network of non-profits led by OFA, which is growing its war chest (more than $40 million) and has some
            250 offices nationwide. The OFA IRS filings, according to Sperry, indicate that the OFA has 32,525 (and growing) volunteers nationwide. The ex-president and his wife will oversee the operation from their home/ office in
            Washington DC.

            Think about how this works.. For example: Trump issues an immigration executive order; the OFA signals for
            protests and statements from pro-immigrant groups; the ACLU lawyers file lawsuits in jurisdictions where activist judges obstruct the laws; volunteers are called to protest at airports and Congressional town hall meetings; the
            leftist media springs to action in support of these activities; the twitter sphere lights up with social media; and violence follows. All of this happens from the ex-president’s signal that he is heartened by the protests.

            If Barack Obama did not do enough to destroy this country in the 8 years he was in office, it appears his future
            plans are to destroy the foundation on which this country has operated on for the last 241 years.

            If this does not scare you, then we are in worse trouble than you know.

            So, do your part. You have read it, so at least pass this on so others will know what we are up against. We are
            losing our country and we are so compliant.. We are becoming a “PERFECT TARGET” for our enemy!”

          • John December 15, 2017 at 12:16 am

            bikeandfish, you lost the argument ! Shut up already ! I don’t have to accept a transgenders, I don’t have to sell gay wedding cakes and i don’t have to take any guff from loudmouthed pompous snowflakes like you who tries to identify as a person with intelligence .!

        • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 10:47 pm

          Gonna rewrite history? According to Colorado Appeals Court records: “Phillips declined, telling them that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex marriages due to his religious beliefs”. Masterpiece specialized, past tense as he has stopped making them, custom wedding cakes which is what they were ordering. Your summary is inaccurate, according to citable fact. Its why he has lost legal cases so far. His legal team isn’t remotely defending him in the illogical way you are stating. Its great if you think his actions should be legal, that’s a valid opinion. But he has extinguished his appeals in Colorado and the courts have clearly stated he broke the state Civil Rights law, ie verifiable fact. Please learn the difference between opinion and observable fact.

          Craig v. Masterpiece Cake Shop et al.: http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/16-111-op-bel-colo-app.pdf

          Its also clear you don’t even understand the situation. Its the baker taking the case to SCOTUS after a successful petition in 2016. Colorado state law clearly supports the couple and the case represents the legal rational for a civil justice system. If anyone is “wasting the courts time”, your words and an idea I and the SCOTUS, clearly disagree with, it’s actually the baker.

          The court record exposes the fundamental flaws to your entire argument.

  • .... December 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Make your own cake…problem solved

    • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      Go to a different lunch counter; get married in a different state. Practice your religion elsewhere. Don’t wear your hijab in public. Don’t show affection in public, unless you are straight.

      You get the point. Such lazy rhetoric has been used for ages simply because a citizen’s life doesn’t happen to align with another’s narrow worldview. Welcome to the 21st century where we [strive to] protect every citizen’s personal liberties not just those of white christian heterosexual men. The civil rights movement of the 60s and 70s was just the start of major changes to how such people can force their power onto other citizens.

      The baker broke Colorado law which has been upheld in multiple courts. The issue now boils down to to the question if the state civil rights law is consistent with federal jurisprudence. We’ll find out relatively soon.

      • Real Life December 15, 2017 at 7:54 am

        Him and his boyfriend make cupcakes.

      • John December 15, 2017 at 11:52 am

        bikeandfish, why don’t you go sue NAPA auto parts because they don’t sell gay hood ornaments? You liberals are immature and frivolous ! Quit wasting the court’s time with this inane garbage. Simply put , the government can not dictate what a business sells or chooses not to sell ! Period !

        • bikeandfish December 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm

          The only displaying any immaturity is you given the amount of insults you use and trying to push opinion as fact. Its great if you wish the state couldn’t regulate business, but they can.

          And its not about what items he sold or kept in inventory, its about intentionally refusing to sell the custom cakes to gay couples. Again, via court record: “Phillips declined, telling them that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex marriages due to his religious beliefs”. Saying your falsehoods over and over again doesn’t make them less false.
          Clearly it wasn’t frivolous as the couple won and the decision was upheld via state appeal. Even the baker knows given he has stopped making custom cakes. They can’t compel him to make custom cakes for gay couples but they can deny him the ability to sell them to anyone else as a consequence of his discrimination.

          The age of wantonly discriminating against anyone your business chooses (without legal consequence) is over. Get use to it.

          • John December 15, 2017 at 1:25 pm

            Only in your communistic fantasy land! The baker did not refuse to bake the gay guys a cake ! The baker refused to sell them a cake he doesn’t sell. Sorry but SCOTUS will uphold for the baker and you are a liberal communist. You are wrong again as always. Making an issue where there isn’t one ! If you need a gay cake put your own damn topper on it, Nobody gives a crap that you are gay. No one can be forced to sell a product they don’t sell. Go ahead be gay ! Nobody is telling you not to be ! But you can’t force people to participate in your pity party, That’s life bikeandfish. Liberals are always wrong and always will be wrong because they do not have a clue what the Constitution says and what it doesn’t say.

        • bikeandfish December 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm

          Are you ever able to support your fanatical claims? I have verified court records, you only have a plethora of exclamation marks.

          SCOTUS could rule against the baker. Hard to know given the relatively even makeup of court justices and their judicial philosophies. For now, the state of Colorado has unequivocally ruled against the baker’s sex- based discrimination. Until the SCOTUS makes their ruling that is the law that is enforced.

          Not sure what communism has anything to do with it, especially given how common it is for many communist states to criminalize homosexuality. Your statement would make the most nonsensical of ideas cringe.

          You are all over the board with your fabricated ideas and insults as always John. At least stick to something remotely logical and cogent.

          • John December 15, 2017 at 5:06 pm

            Communism is government telling people how to run their business you moron !

          • John December 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm

            Insults? Those are compliments for a liberal like you. You should read The Constitution sometime instead of spending so much time memorizing the liberal talking points of the day. Maybe someday you will be able to make an actual point and we will all be in awe of your cognitive abilities, but reciting the leftist narrative gets old bikeandfish, you try hard but everybody sees right through your insecurities and just laughs at you. So many words and never a valid point, just what everybody would expect a liberal meat puppet to say, hahahahahaha!

        • bikeandfish December 15, 2017 at 5:50 pm

          Actually, John, in communism, business is state owned, not privately. No private owners to dictate to. You might want to re-evaluate your fundamental understanding of governance. Private business is commonly regulated in democracies, especially mixed-economies like the United States.

          Hence, your nonsensical statement about communism has no bearing on this at all.

          • John December 15, 2017 at 6:24 pm

            yes it does have bearing..you are a communist , momma know it all !!!… you are really quite dense and pompous besides being quite easily triggered..hahahahaha! get a life you lose again

  • DB December 14, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Attention Bakers: Just bake the darn cake. That’s your livelihood. It’s none of your business what they are going to do with the cake. You aren’t giving your “blessing” to said event. You are not God.

  • old school December 14, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    I grew up in California and have know gay people all my life, but in recent years it seem all the women are man-haters and the guys think every man should be just like them, or your just being “homophobic”, they hire and promote each other regardless of qualifications, they are organized and funded to the point they can ram their
    opinion down the throat of anyone they please, It’s not an exercise of freedom anymore, it’s just another “Hate” group (political body) trying to gain control of the country

    • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      I’ll clarify…its about equal treatment under the law; that is the overwhelming gist of the issue even though there are extremists in every camp. Until evangelical voters can differentiate between losing political dominance over another class of citizens versus equal treatment than I don’t imagine you will get much sympathy from me for playing the victim in this situation. Until this country and its laws treat citizens with dignity and equal liberty…without regard to anything like race, religion, sex/gender, etc…then the fight at the political level will continue. We have been fighting this fight for centuries for people of color and women and slowly winning. Get use to it now for religious minorities and lgbtqi+ citizens as well.

      • Sedona December 14, 2017 at 9:50 pm

        And I thought all the PC police were on those MSM liberal talk shows and liberal rant sites, but, holy cow !
        A small city like STG with its own news website has bikeandfish & theone preaching their bigoted philosophies and judging as being narrow-
        minded in their diatribes !
        Wonder how much the left is paying them?

        • bikeandfish December 14, 2017 at 11:18 pm

          Ad hominem attacks are admission that you have nothing valid to say about the actual topic.

          I would recommend you better educate yourself about the ideas of bigotry and prejudice. I support each and every one of the people here living whatever personal life they want. I tolerate that wholeheartedly. Civil rights, and conversations about it, aren’t the same. Bigot/bigotry/bigoted are defined by “unreasonable” ideas about beliefs. We aren’t simply talking about beliefs or opinions. If folks here were simply stating that they wish they could discriminate against gay couples wantonly like they could in decades past then at the end of the day there is not much I can do because its a personal opinion. But we are talking about actual law and court record which is fact, not opinion. We can verify and correct the multitude of misconceptions here. We can unequivocally highlight the difference between personal liberty and regulated business practice, which is explicitly talked about in the Colorado court records. Its not bigoted in any fashion to challenge such misconceptions or outright lies.

          The courts have ruled, in Colorado, that the baker illegally discriminated against the couple. Plain and simple. Live your life how you want in your own home but civil liberties protect us from people like this baker prejudicially acting against us. Those same laws protect LBA from discrimination simply because she talks about Jesus and hellfire every chance she gets.

          Another way to put it…its not bigoted to stand up to active, systemic and intentional discrimination. Its not narrow-minded to fight for equal treatment under the law, including the long regulated business world.

          • Jerome December 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

            Bikeandfish, you make some great arguments, and I can tell your sincere about what you are trying to do. I do however struggle with what appears to me as you standing on some moral high ground trying to inform the rest of us on the errors of our thinking. I have found that most people, who attempt to raise the banner of equality, anti-bigotry, and anti-discrimination, still hold some liberties to themselves. We all seem to like to look at others and see their fault and claim we don’t have the same. Everyone to some degree has some amount of discrimination and bigotry that they exercise every day. You don’t believe me, then why do you lock your doors at night. By doing so, you make the statement that there are portions of society that you do not trust, that are not allowed inside the walls of your home, without you there to monitor and control their actions. If someone acts outside the lines of what you feel is appropriate, then I would assume you would kick them out. See even you have limits to who and how people interact with your life. You judge that there are people out there unfit to enter your home, at any time they see fit. Why? True acceptance of individuals means to accept all of them as they are without the slightest hint of hesitation. Are you there yet? If not then please don’t try to present the argument that its wrong to treat others different until you are fully ready to accept all people in all situations and at all times.

            The second thing I admire, yet am somewhat troubled by is your understanding of law. A applaud your respect for the law, I really do. I do however struggle with the fact that you hold it so high, yet I suspect that you will probably break a couple of them on your way home from work, or on the way around town. However, you appear to hold disgust for this cake baker who you feel broke the law. Who in his situation found that it was in his best interest to interpret the law differently than maybe you or I. Let me ask, do you turn yourself in every time you drive faster than the speed limit? Have you ever been distracted while driving by looking at your phone? Have you completely stopped at every stop sign you come to? I doubt it.

            See what I am getting at here is we are flawed.

            I think we are going down a slippery slope with this cake situation yet I also see the need to prevent some kinds of bias and discrimination. I admit that I cannot and will never accept some actions by certain individuals (not related to the gay topic). Every day we are pushed further and further into accepting more that a civilized society should allow. You may see this as progress, but I suspect that even you have limits on what you allow. Where will your limits be? So please try to understand that many of us will continue to hold our ground on certain issues, but don’t for a minute think that it is based on hatred.

        • bikeandfish December 15, 2017 at 2:26 pm

          Where does this idea of paid internet comments come from? Its been bandied several times. And even though it makes me laugh everytime it also makes me wonder clogosphere conspiracy theory I am missing.

          • Sedona December 15, 2017 at 3:39 pm

            Geez…Do you have a life other than living here on STG News?

  • commonsense December 15, 2017 at 7:40 am

    As an artist, the magic I perform on canvas has to be felt and embraced. If someone commissioned me to paint a subject that I found repulsive, I couldn’t do it. No law or court decision could compel me to perform devoid of conviction. The inspiration necessary to produce a masterpiece cannot be legislated.

    The LGBT community is trying their best to legitimize their preferences but don’t drag my talent into that discussion. They can have their rights and so can I.

    Very well written piece.

  • bikeandfish December 15, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Jerome,

    Thank you for a thoughtful and reasonable post. I think you would find that we likely agree on much, especially under a normal situation around a campfire or dinner table. You posit nuanced and thoughtful ideas and some questions that linger at the core identity of this country. After a couple centuries we are still trying to figure out many issues, often with passionate disagreements.

    A couple notes:

    I understand the concern about cases like this going too far. Many cultural changes of the last decade have happened at a faster pace than any of us would have predicted. Some are clearly going slower. In an ideal world we could lean on purist concepts of personal liberty to respect the dignity of each citizen in this country. But we are far from ideal, as you have noted, and have an unfortunately rich history of discrimination that has led to many civil rights laws. Women were denied the vote so they fought for a new constitutional amendment. Jim Crow existed far too long after slavery so the civil rights movement pushed for social and legal changes that are still needed to be enforced to this day. And more recently it has to do with non-hetero-normative couples, marriage and their demand for equal treatment under the law. In each of these cases people were actively and systematically oppressed, often violently; rates of violence against LGBTQi individuals in this country are still staggering. LGBTQi couples still face discrimination in fundamental needs of life, from employment to housing.
    And clearly people still actively discriminate against them in the business sector. So after such failures of civility and treating our fellow citizens with dignity we have created laws, only 21 states protect LGBTQi individuals as a protected class, that impose boundaries on discrimination in the public and private sectors. If there wasn’t such a systemic problem currently or in the recent past we wouldn’t need such laws. But we do.

    At the end of the day these law don’t stop individuals from behaving in a way they consider consistent with their morals. I can respect those who take a stand, often a direct action in violation of the law, while also believing we need these laws to protect the many minority groups that have been so hurtfully oppressed in this country. The baker can still bake whatever he wants, he just has to be accountable to the legal consequences if he actively and purposefully denies equal service. He knows this and has chosen to no longer make custom cakes. The SCOTUS may rule the CO law is unconstitutional and the direction of civil rights law would eventually adapt (either by clarifying federal law or ending the protected class in this nuanced case).

    And to clarify, I don’t believe most people act with hatred. After months of hideous and inhumane comments made voluntarily on this forum I have chosen to push back against a handful of people. But by no means do I think most people act with malice. We all have to negotiate the balance between our personal integrity and social environment. I will defend the right of anyone to behave how they want in their personal lives (ie personal liberty) but that balance changes when we enter the public and business sphere. We chose decades ago to prohibit businesses from denying service based on race and religion and now many states are requiring the same legal adherence for other classes of citizens. I think that is fair and appropriate in our country.

    At the end of the day I don’t think the comparison you made about locks is apples to apples. I think the best and most consistent comparison is whether or not we would support a business intentionally discriminating against a person of color? Do we support segregating services? Because right now, in 29 states, we support businesses intentionally and systematically segregating service just because of someone’s sexual identity. Sexual minorities are still living in their version of Jim Crow America. I, like many Americans, I firmly believe that is an affront to the basic humanity enshrined in the most noble concepts of our country.

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